The General Counsel
The General Counsel, Lou Guard serves as the Colleges’ chief legal officer and represents the Colleges on all legal matters. This representation includes providing legal services and advice to the Board of Trustees, President, cabinet and divisions, and all other duly authorized representatives of the Colleges acting in their capacity for the Colleges. The General Counsel is exclusively responsible for retaining outside counsel and supervises all such professional services with the goal of minimizing costs to the institution.
The goal of the General Counsel is to advance the mission of the Colleges by providing effective, timely, strategic and thoughtful legal advice in support of the Colleges’ mission.
As Assistant Secretary to the Board, Guard is elected by the Board of Trustees pursuant to the Colleges’ Bylaws. The Assistant Secretary provides governance advice to the Board of Trustees and is the institutional record-keeper. The Assistant Secretary directs and manages strategic and logistical support to the Board with the assistance of the Director of Board and Community Relations.
About the General Counsel
A cum laude graduate of Hobart College and Cornell Law School, Guard joined the Colleges in 2014. He provides legal advice and counsel across institutional areas, assists the president with all major initiatives and projects, and is responsible for the strategic direction of legal affairs for the Colleges. Guard serves as Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees, and is the primary governance advisor to the Board. He previously also served as Chief of Staff to President Emeritus Mark Gearan. A Geneva native, he is admitted to practice law in New York and Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Colleges, Guard worked at leading law firms in Philadelphia, Pa., and Rochester N.Y. Guard currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Journal of College and University Law, where his written work has also appeared, and is an active member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA). He has served as a panelist at Stetson Law School’s National Conference on Law and Higher Education, as a NACUA panel moderator, and as a consultant to the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) on issues of collegiate mergers and acquisitions. He has taught and guest lectured on business law and higher education law topics at Hobart and William Smith and Boston College Law School respectively, and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cornell Law School where he teaches the seminar on the law of higher education.
The Office of General Counsel only handles the Colleges’ legal matters and represents only the Colleges, not any individual. If you need an attorney for personal matters the New York State Bar Association’s free referral service may be of assistance: 1-800-342-3661.